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Norway’s north east Arctic coldwater prawn fishery enters MSC assessment

06 Dec 2010

Following the certification of some of Norway’s saithe, cod and haddock fisheries, the Norwegian Seafood Export Council has entered the north east Arctic coldwater prawn fishery into assessment for MSC certification.

The fishery takes place all year around along the Norwegian coastline, up near Svalbard and in the Barents Sea where both inshore vessels and large ocean-going vessels, using trawl nets, catch around 20,000 tonnes annually.

The stock is shared with other nations but the Norwegian fleet, which comprises 89 vessels, catches around 90% of the total catch. Europe is the main market for Norwegian coldwater prawns where both fresh and frozen prawns are sold in Sweden, the UK, Denmark, Finland, Italy and France.

“Third party certification against MSC standard is very important for positioning seafood from Norway as sustainably harvested. When we now enter the certification process for Norwegian prawns we will soon have a new tool available in our marketing. At the same time we strengthen our position as the seafood nation with the largest number of fisheries certified against the MSC standard,” said Ove Johansen, marketing manager prawns for the Norwegian Seafood Export Council.

The independent MSC-accredited certifier Det Norske Veritas AS (DNV) will oversee full assessment and is now in the process of contacting organisations and individuals with an interest in the fishery.